Our latest Portland NORML membership meeting was held at the Tony Starlight Showroom. Despite a drizzly rain and the start of Memorial Day weekend, activists and supporters enjoyed free coffee and donuts and learned about the challenges we face in moving from legalization to regulation to, eventually, equalization.
Our Executive Director, Russ Belville, reported on his latest trip to present and participate in National NORML's Washington DC Lobby Day. There he was able to interview US Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), a fiery proponent of ending the war on marijuana consumers who gained notoriety for taking down drug czars, DEA heads, and sheriffs who dare to introduce Reefer Madness in the congressional testimony.
Our Special Guest, Oregon Rep. Lew Frederick discussed the legislation happening in Salem to regulate the marijuana markets in medical and recreational, and his push for an amendment to free non-violent marijuana offenders whose offenses are no longer crimes. Rep. Frederick also counsled attendees on how best to lobby their local legislators.
Our Facilities Director and Newsletter Author, Jennifer Alexander reported on the latest bills and amendments working their way through the legislature. Attorneys Leland Berger and Portland NORML Legal Counsel John Lucy IV added their expertise on the matters of local control, zoning bans, and agricultural considerations for industrial hemp.
The meeting concluded with the announcement of next month's board elections, for which Executive Director Russ Belville, Deputy Director Scott Gordon, and Treasurer Randy Quast will be up for re-election. Nominations may be presented at the next meeting, occurring on Saturday, June 26, Noon at the Tony Starlight Showroom.